|Relationship with the Harmony Development Company
Is the Harmony Institute funded by the town of Harmony?
No, the Harmony Development Company (HDC) and the Harmony Institute exist as completely independent and self-governing organizations. While they collaborate on programming that works to fulfill the Institute's mission and provide model activities for Harmony Residents, the Institute is not directed by nor funded by the Development Company. HDC adopted the name Harmony from the Institute as it also works to exemplify the environment of the Community.
Could a community purposely designed to preserve the natural environment and maximize opportunities for human interaction with companion animals be a site for long-term studies of the health and education benefits related to regular access to these interactions?
Such was the premise around which the Harmony Institute was founded and its mission formed: to promote human health and well-being through the interaction of people, animals and the environment.
While science has already established that our relationships with animals and nature are good for us, there is much more we need to know. Before the Harmony Institute, the ability to conduct long-term studies of the health and education benefits among residents within a community designed to accommodate these interactions did not exist.
Similar in theory to the Framingham Heart Study which, with the cooperation of Framingham, Massachusetts residents, has allowed the National Institutes of Health, Boston University and other collaborative institutions the ability to study cardiovascular disease for the past 50+ years, the Harmony Institute believes a “living laboratory” could be effective in collecting evidence in favor of green living.
As stated by Alan M. Beck. Sc.D., Perdue University, Center of Applied Ethology and Human-Animal Interaction, “As we evolve further into a technological age that contributes to detaching us further from one another and strains normal human-human bonding, it becomes more critical to explore the benefits and applications of human-animal-nature interaction. An environment set aside to advance the knowledge of the use of these interactions in our society as a tool to offset existing social problems is vital to the health of our society.”
Thus, the Institute set forth three primary goals in its effort to “raise the B.A.R. for healthier living…”
Build the environment
Activate model requirements
Research the outcomes